The Finding Nemo Sequel and our Responsibilities as Coral Reef Lovers and Aquarium Hobbyists

Rumors have been flying around that Pixar is in the process of ramping up production on a Finding Nemo sequel, that film writer and producer Andrew Stanton has signed up for the directing job, and that television writer Victoria Strouse will be writing the script. I call them rumors because Pixar does not comment on development.

There is a double-edged sword to these rumors. On the one hand, I love it. I loved the first Finding Nemo, and it is still one of my favorite Pixar films. Of course I do, I love most things about coral reefs, tropical fish, and ocean life. I also think Pixar does a fairly fantastic job at creating all of their animated films.

Sure, us nerdy ocean and aquarium lovers can pick apart some of the inaccuracies of such movies. But Pixar did a pretty good job with the original Finding Nemo of entertaining my 2.5 year old nephew, me, and my 60 year old father while incorporating a few scientific names and some of the basics about ocean life and underwater ecosystems.

Underwater is a place that most people don’t look at and see very often. Therefore, it was out of sight and out of mind for a majority of people until Pixar released Finding Nemo in movie theaters across the globe and put those ocean ecosystems right in front of toddlers, teenagers, parents, and grandparents across the world.

Finding Nemo was also fantastic for the aquarium hobby. Kids wanted to go “find Nemo” at the public aquariums. They started dragging their parents past the puppies and into the fish section of pet stores. Tanks, stands, aquarium filters, and all sorts of aquarium equipment started flying off the shelves like never before. The added interest and money pouring into the industry allowed for advances in husbandry, technology, and research.

So, the other edge of that sword? The downside to all of this is that all of those fish that people now want to keep in their home aquariums come from somewhere. Did anybody realize that the whole movie was about a tropical fish being snatched out of its natural environment by a SCUBA diver, ripped from its family, and placed in a small tank thousands of miles from home? We learned some great things about the oceans on the journey to find Nemo, but he just wanted to be out of that tank and back at home with his family and friends.

Luckily, the aquarium hobby didn’t seem to take much heat for that. In the end, the clownfish populations did. Those new aquarium hobbyists were looking for the “Nemo” fish left and right to put into their new aquariums, and these new hobbyists mostly lacked the proper setup and care knowledge. Then, if one of their ocellaris clownfish died, they would just go grab another one from their LFS. Clownfish populations were practically wiped out in certain parts of the world. There are also new advancements and technologies that have made fish keeping better, and easier.

As tropical fish lovers, coral reef lovers, and aquarium hobbyists we have a responsibility to educate about conservation, proper aquarium setup, and proper aquarium maintenance this time around. Luckily, breeding of tropical saltwater fish has come a long way since the first Finding Nemo. It kind of seems like every other person in the aquarium hobby is breeding clownfish these days.

If people start asking us questions about setting up new tanks we should take the time to show them how to do it correctly. We should educate new hobbyists about the oceans and underwater ecosystems. We should teach them about fish and reef compatibility, the nitrogen cycle, water chemistry, and water quality so that new hobbyists can keep their fish happy and alive. Most importantly, we should teach them about conservation, fish breeding, and tank bred fish.

Aquarium Tip Tank will be here to help. If you are new to the aquarium hobby please ask questions, and let us know what you need help with. That is what we’re here for. If you have been keeping fish for a while, and you’d also like to help, get in touch with us. You can comment below, send an email to, say hello to us on Facebook, say hello to us on Twitter, or find us on YouTube.